Album Review By Dan Johnson
Cold Dark Place
October 27 via Reprise Records
The track-listing for Cold Dark Place is as follows:
- North Side Star
- Blue Walsh
- Toe to Toes
- Cold Dark Place
North Side Star opens with a very bittersweet passage that gradually crescendos, harkening back to moments from Blood Mountain, and Crack The Skye-style chord progressions. One thing that really sticks with me is the very tasty guitar tones, especially on the lead guitar tracks.
Brent Hinds really utilizes his newish toy; several years ago he purchased a 1954 Sho-Bud 13-string pedal steel guitar, and fully outfitted it with knee and foot-benders. The overall feel for me on this one is bluegrass meets psychedelic groove.
Blue Walsh is a gear shift into psych-pop, really reminiscent of Once More Around The Sun as far as atmosphere is concerned.
The third track, Toe To Toes, features Troy Sanders taking the lead vocal and definitely standing out on the verses, occasionally letting some snarl bite through the clean.
Brent Hinds brings it home with some catchy choruses, that would definitely appeal to the masses… this track screams Mastodon at their apex. A bit of the techy riffs they are known for, as well as some southern chime, rounding it out with Brann Dailor’s hard hitting drums.
And finally we reach the end of the journey, with the EP’s namesake – Cold Dark Place.
Dark, brooding guitar opens, leading you into the spiral. The pedal steel wails like a banshee in the background, with ethereal vocals leading the top.
The drums eventually pick up and usher you deeper into the dark place culminating into a very bluesy ripping solo (quite possibly my favorite on this EP).
It seems through interviews, this record is an introspective trip into Brent Hind’s psyche.
In his own words to Loudwire recently, he stated that, “the concept of living and how much it hurts to fucking be alive” is what this particular trip with Mastodon is all about.